I’ve been following The Art Assignment. If you haven’t taken a peek, pull your paints out and get on over there. In particular get on over there if you’re the sort of someone who loved making tempera and potato stamp masterpieces as a kid, then snagged a run of Cs in art class and thought “well… fuckit”.
The show has grown from a great little sparkle of an idea just finding its sealegs, to a fully-kitted ahoy matey ship, ably captained by Sarah Urist Green. (I’m working on a tugboat game. Apologies for over-nauticalization.)
And then, in December, they blew my mind grapes – *sqwuh-pow* – because Christoph Niemann presented an assignment: Emotional Furniture. See Christoph Niemann’s “Illustrated Talk with Maurice Sendak“, and then anything else he’s done.
Quick version: Christoph’s assignment asks you to use only furniture and (unaltered) photography to evoke three emotions: Envy | Confidence | Melancholy.
I decided to try it, but I let this assignment roll around my brain noggin for awhile, and it rolled over from many a week’s to-do list to the next week’s to-do list.
I could see it cresting on yet another roll over to yet another week, when I had the idea to try and use bathroom “furniture” (why yes, I was having a bath at the time). And then… I decided to use houseplants instead. As the ficus is the sink of the bedroom. Or, rather, as the bathroom needed a clean – there may have been a sparkly bath bomb involved – and I do love my plants. (And if I love them, perhaps there are other emotions germinating in there.)
I figured it was keeping with the spirit of The Art Assignment to tweak the original mission and make it my own, so, apologies to Christoph Niemann, here’s my first go at composing Emotional Plants. And following the Jack White no Pro Tools ethos, the constraints are what made it incredibly fun and satisfying to do. These fellas may be on to something.